FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 9, 2022
CONTACT: Marta Lindsey, Communications Director, Walk SF, email@example.com, 617-833-7654(c); Jodie Medeiros, Executive Director, Walk SF, firstname.lastname@example.org, 415-596-1580(c)
Pedestrian killed in crash yesterday morning in the Marina neighborhood
Thirteen pedestrians have died so far this year
San Francisco, Calif. – Early yesterday morning, a pedestrian was hit and killed on Lombard Street near Steiner in the Marina neighborhood. In total, 13 people have been killed while walking in San Francisco this year.
“Our hearts go out to the family who just lost a loved one in this tragic way,” said Jodie Medeiros, executive director of Walk San Francisco. “You are in our thoughts.”
Walk San Francisco and the San Francisco Bay Area Families for Safe Streets community stand ready to support the friends and loved ones of the victim however possible.
At the national level, an estimated 9,560 people have already died on US roadways in the first quarter of 2022, 7% more than a year ago and the highest first quarter total in two decades. The number of pedestrians killed is at a historic high, with 7,342 killed last year.
“We face more threats than ever as pedestrians,” said Medeiros. “The pandemic unleashed even more aggressive driving, especially dangerous speeding. And too many streets are still designed to prioritize moving traffic quickly instead of prioritizing people’s safety.”
Lombard Street is on the City’s “high-injury network”: the 13% of streets where 75% of traffic crashes occur. Lombard is inherently dangerous for a few reasons.
- Lombard is six travel lanes wide, plus two parking lanes and a median. This leaves pedestrians vulnerable for a long distance when crossing.
- Lombard is a state highway, connecting Van Ness and the Golden Gate Bridge with very high levels of traffic – but is also very busy with pedestrians because of many motels, restaurants, homes, and businesses along it.
- Lombard has a 30 MPH speed limit, with many drivers going much faster. A person struck by a driver traveling at 30 MPH is twice as likely to be killed as a person struck by a driver going 25 mph. The risk of death increases dramatically between 20MPH and 40MPH, and seniors face a significantly higher chance of death than younger adults.
“When you look at a street like Lombard, it’s clear that every possible safety solution is needed to adequately protect people,” said Medeiros. “More must be done, especially given the amount of – and speed of – traffic seen here.” Speed is the #1 cause of severe and fatal crashes in San Francisco.
There are important pedestrian safety basics in place at this intersection. After the Lombard Street Safety Project, it has continental crosswalks, pedestrian countdown signals, bulbouts (curb extensions) on all four corners, advanced limit lines, and restricted left turns from Lombard from 7-10am and 3-7pm on weekdays.
However, this intersection does not yet have longer crossing times for pedestrians, or accessible pedestrian signals (which communicates when to cross in an non-audio manner).
“Tragedies like these on our streets show that every safety project the City builds needs to meet the highest bar for safety,” said Medeiros.
Walk San Francisco and San Francisco Bay Area Families for Safe Streets are calling on city leaders to prioritize traffic safety and take bold actions. This includes:
- Complete at least 20 Vision Zero Quick Build projects each year (including 2022) so that all 160 miles of high-injury streets have had meaningful safety fixes by 2024. This is the commitment the City made in its new Vision Zero Action Strategy, and it cannot fall behind on this essential goal.
- Lower speed limits to 20 MPH on the 35 identified eligible business corridors citywide, plus complete the evaluation for eligibility of the miles of streets in the Financial District, SoMa, Mission Bay, North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Chinatown by December 31. Speed continues to be the #1 cause of severe and fatal crashes in San Francisco – and bringing down speeds is the fastest way to save lives. Unfortunately, Lombard Street does not qualify for lower speeds under the state law passed last year, Assembly Bill 43, due to the number of travel lanes (read more below). Chestnut Street, one block away, is eligible for lower speed limits.
- Expedite and expand the use of left turn calming, no-turn-on-red, and pedestrian safety zones throughout the high-injury network. These low-cost solutions are proven to keep us safer in the crosswalk.
“We need San Francisco to prioritize people, not fast-moving traffic, on our streets,” said Medeiros. “That means harnessing every possible strategy to bring down speeds, plus doing everything possible to make people safer in the crosswalk.”
Citywide, around 30 people are killed and more than 500 severely injured each year on San Francisco streets.
In 2021, the State Assembly passed Assembly Bill 43, which allows speed limits to be set based on safety on certain types of streets. San Francisco has used this new legal authority to reduce speed limits to 20 MPH on seven streets so far. Learn more about AB 43.
In 2014, 13 City agencies committed to Vision Zero: a comprehensive, data-based, preventative approach to ending severe and fatal crashes by 2024. The most recent Vision Zero Action Strategy and Walk San Francisco’s analysis of it can be viewed here.
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Walk San Francisco (‘Walk SF’) advocates for safe streets for everyone who walks, which is everyone. Since our founding in 1998, Walk SF has been leading the way to make San Francisco a pedestrian-first city where people of every age and ability can walk safely. Learn more.
San Francisco Bay Area Families for Safe Streets is made up of survivors and families whose loved ones have been killed or injured in traffic crashes. Learn more.